Mack opens big lead in Florida GOP Senate contest

Headline Goes Here

Connie Mack.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The fight for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate is shaping up as U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV's to lose.

Mack has opened a huge lead over his rivals in a three-way contest in a poll released Thursday.

Mack was preferred by 40 percent of 742 registered Florida Republican voters in a recent random telephone survey compared to 8 percent for Tea Party favorite Mike McCalister. Fort Lauderdale attorney George LeMieux, who served the final 16 months of former U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez's term, was favored by 7 percent. Forty-one percent were undecided.

The Quinnipiac University survey of Republican voters taken May 15-21 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

The GOP winner faces incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in November.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.